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On the seventh day of Christmas, the cuts took away… patients’ beds while they were in them

Bedknobs Broomsticks Flying Bed

This is the appalling situation ‘Florence’ and her colleagues feel should be urgently exposed to public scrutiny:

“As I finished my shift this week, our team was tearing its hair out trying to sort an awful situation.  We had a call from the parent of a young person, currently an inpatient but home on leave. The parent called because her child’s condition had deteriorated and they needed to return to hospital. The situation was at breaking point, and they simply couldn’t cope. The whole point of going home on leave from hospital is that it’s a way of making the transition back home from hospital, in gradual way, with the safety net of being able to return quickly if things don’t go as well as hoped. Unfortunately, their bed had been given to a newly-admitted patient and now there were no beds available…
It’s not surprising that we end up with situations such as “sofa gate”, where in the absence of any beds, someone in crisis and unsafe has been admitted technically on to a sofa in the ward lounge, so that they are at least safe until the morning and the whole saga of trying to find a bed can start again. Something that the CQC took a very dim view of…
We know that the wards are so full that there is a virtual ward.  Actually four virtual wards.  The latest figures are that Suffolk had a virtual ward of four patients supposedly on home leave but whose bed had been filled by someone else and four patients in out of area placements.  Norfolk and Waveney currently has 32 patients on home leave with no bed to return to.  There are four people in the virtual transfer lounge, but we are not sure what this is! So that’s at least 36 people in Norfolk and Suffolk currently on leave from hospital, who can’t return if they need to. Not to mention the four people due to return to the wards today.  Great if they can remain on leave or be discharged, but what if they need or want to stay in?  They will find someone else occupying their bed.”

In the current ‘radical redesign’, also known as the Trust Service Strategy, Norfolk & Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust (NSFT) plans to close a further eleven thirteen hostel pre-discharge beds at the Hellesdon Hospital in Norwich, which will make a disgraceful situation impossible. Isn’t it time the NSFT Board listened to Florence?

2 thoughts on “On the seventh day of Christmas, the cuts took away… patients’ beds while they were in them

  1. Karyn Mills says:

    Hi, Just to let you know that there are actually 13 beds at Hostels being closed not 11. Thanks for all you’re doing.Karyn

  2. admin says:


    Thanks for the correction and support. Now updated.

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